Nitin Gadkari


The SRCC Business Conclave, India’s largest management fest, concluded on 5th of February after 3 days of extravaganza. The festival aims to broaden the horizons of the youth by engaging them in a series of intellectually stimulating speaker sessions concerning issues that act as the orbit around which modern business rotates. In sync with previous years, the core theme for this year’s sessions was “In touch with tomorrow.” The three days witnessed a host of eminent personalities from a variety of fields engaging youth in interactive sessions. The first day, 3rd February, began with a panel discussion on the theme ‘Startup Culture in India.’ The panellists included Ankit Bhatt from MapMyIndia, Kashyap Deorah, author of the book ‘Golden-Trap’, Rajesh Gupta from Fresh Falsabzi, Ankur Warikoo from Nearbuy and Saurabh Kochhar from FoodPanda, where they discussed the opportunities and challenges to startups in India. Next came the much awaited session with Nirmala Sitharaman, moderated by Rajdeep Sardesai. Mr. Sardesai in one of the questions asked her, “…two wasted Parliament sessions, the monsoon washed out and the winter froze. No legislation for GST. Politicians still put their personal interests forth?” to which, the lady of the hour said, “The hitch is not with NDA. If they let us pass the bill we will sit together to have lunch with them (other parties).” The events were followed by a Gala Night where Dhruv Vishwanathan entertained the audience with his mesmerizing guitar chords. 4th February began with the Shri Ram Memorial speech by Mr. Nitin Gadkari where he emphasised the role of youth in nation building is fundamental. He said, “Conversion of wealth into knowledge is called progress.” When asked about the nature of politicians he said that only the ideation of good people in the politics can result in growth. The next speaker, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal sharing the stories of his struggle and success said, “In a small garage in Ludhiana, me and my team put together the first ‘push-button’ phone of India. Then came Mr. D. Shivakumar, CEO PepsiCo India, who shed light on the strength of Indian youth saying, “What youth has today, is voice.” The next on the dias was Derek-O-Brien, who we all know as the Bournavita Quizmaster. Currently a Member of Parliament he said, “Politician bashing is very easy. There are always jokers in a pack. But the Parliament is also full of some serious talent.” The final speaker of the day was Medha Patkar, activist for Narmada Bachao Andolan and she highlighted the importance of Human resource saying, “Money alone cannot give you the suit on your body, the paper we use and even the currency notes.” The first speaker for the final day was G.M.Rao, Chairman GMR Group. Revisiting his early days and all the obstacles he faced, he said, “There was a time when I started 28 different businesses at the same time. I was grabbing whatever opportunity I was getting.” The next to come was Mr. Adi Godrej from Godrej Group who spoke about how fundamental is enforced legislation to the growth of a country but how too many rules and regulations can often slow down the process. Rajat Sharma, took over the stage who interacted in a light manner with the students. About his journey with IndiaTV, he recounted, “Sapna profit banane ya BMW mei aane ka nahi tha. Sapna sirf logo ka pyaar or dil jeetne ka tha.” This year, the Business Conclave went International, calling David Plouffe, Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. He attracted a lot of questions and curiosity, expressing opinion about India, the elections in the United States and even Donald Trump. After him came, Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance, who said, “The most important duty of a finance executive is Honesty.” The next to come was Anurag Thakur, MP and Secretary, BCCI, and he said, “Cricket, and sports give you the knowledge which classroom doesn’t offer. Sports is a way of life that helps in character building.” The guest speaker for the final day was Suresh Raina, when audience asked him if he was a front or back bencher in school, he laughed and said, “Main class mei bethta hi nahi tha.” The event was wrapped up with the much awaited guest, Mr. Rishi Kapoor. As he is famous on twitter for his witty, straight forward personality, his answers at the event too matched his charisma. When asked about Bollywood, he said, “The business of cinema is huge. The only entertainment after cinema is sex.”

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